By John Hubbuch
Whenever there is a school referendum like District 97's on April 5th, there is open season for bashing teachers. The bashing derives from the fact that teacher compensation is a matter of public record and voter-taxpayers can more or less vote on the future of that compensation by voting the referendum up or down. Imagine if you could vote on the compensation of Miley Cyrus, the President of AIG, hedge fund managers and the surly check out clerk at Walgreen's. What fun.
Now I like bashing as much as the next guy, but this bashing is tired and boring starting with the stunning revelation that some older, experienced teachers with Master's degrees plus 45 more hours of education make more than $100,000. Shocking. Did you know if you start at $40,000 and get a 3% raise every year for 35 years, you'll make a$100,000. There are lots of less experienced, less educated employees in the private sector that make that much.
Another bash is the teachers have jobs for life. Not true. The majority of new teachers don't get tenure during the 4 year probationary period. Only the best of the best make it. Thereafter lots of teachers get "counseled" out of the system by poor teaching assignments and bad evalutions. And lets be honest there are lots of bad employees in the private sector that hold on to their jobs like grim death. Take a look around the cubicle. It's hard to fire anyone in an American with a white collar job unless he's a white male under 50.
The criticism of teacher health and retirement benefits probably has some historical validity, but those benefits have been and will be reduced as the country, and schools in particular, have to do more with less. This basher battle has been over.
I think a lot of the bashing is autobigraphical. The basher is upset because he chose the wrong career path ,and he's jealous of the teachers. I got news. In the US of A there is no caste system. You can be a teacher . If you have a college degree you can take teacher education courses for a semester ,and student teach for another. In a year you can be a shiny new teacher. Now get picked out of hundreds of applicants, and you're on your way to a $100,000 in 35 years.
I say go for it, but please shut up.